Conditions continued to improve as the top seeds hit the water for day three of the Newport Beach Pro presented by {{{Jeep}}}. An Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) two-star event, today's Newport Beach Pro saw big tubes, broken boards and advancement of competitors into tomorrow's money round.

Alex Gray (South Bay, CA) showed amazing determination in his Round of 64 afternoon heat. Sitting in the second spot and needing a backup score with five minutes, Gray carved up a speedy righthander directly into the south jetty. Upon surfacing, the prodigious natural-footer discovered his board and been smashed in half by the rocks.

"I think it's the difference between freesurfing and contest surfing," Gray said. "We came down to five minutes and I was in second and I really wanted to make that heat. When I finished that last carve, I saw the biggest slab of rock in front of me and I knew that my favorite girlfriend (surfboard) was about to break my heart."

Gray netted a 6.25 for his efforts rocketing him into first position and keeping his hopes alive for the Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series (an ASP specialty series) title. Gray's biggest competition for the title is Volcom stable-mate and current trifecta points leader Dustin Cuizon (Ewa beach, HI).

Cuizon, who won the ASP four-star Body Glove Surfbout last April, blasted through his Round of 64 heat this afternoon thus keeping him in the running for the $33,333 prize awarded to the surfer who wins all three events in the Macy's Trifecta. Although appreciative the financial rewards for the potential three-peat, Cuizon remains grounded about the possibility.

"I'm not really thinking about any of that right now," Cuizon said. "To win one WQS is hard enough so to win three would be amazing. I'm just taking it heat by heat and focusing on my WQS campaign. Of course I'd love to win the Trifecta, but we'll just see what happens."

Nick Rozsa (Oxnard, CA) had a stunning come-from-behind advancement in the opening heat of the Round of 64. Unable to find a rhythm for the majority of the heat, Rozsa finally opened his account on a walling lefthander to net an 8.00 out of a possible 10 with just five minutes left.

"I was getting really frustrated," Rozsa said. "It seemed like all the waves were coming in by the jetty then when I paddling over there, they'd break somewhere else. Everyone was getting waves except me – everyone had 7's and 6's and everything and I didn't have anything. I didn't have anything until there was like five minutes left. I paddled for a wave and didn't catch it then there was a little left after that. I just threw everything I could at it and then tried to get back out as soon as possible."

Josh Hoyer (Newport Beach, CA) punctuated this morning's action with a standup barrel for the day's high single-wave score 9.00 out of a possible 10 – unfortunately, Hoyer suffered an interference in his Round of 64 heat this afternoon and was eliminated from competition.

Eric Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), current ratings-leader on the ASP North America Pro Junior series, lit up the difficult afternoon conditions finding an excellent 9.0 out of a possible 10. Geiselman will be competing in both the WQS two-star Newport Beach Pro presented by Jeep and the Oakley Pro Junior.

Tomorrow will see the Round of 32 hit the water for the Newport Beach Pro pres. by Jeep as well as the first two rounds of the ASP Grade-Two Oakley Pro Junior. Heats will hit the water tomorrow at 8:00 am.

Live webcast will recommence tomorrow morning and is available at or